Category Archives: Presidential Debates

Obama Opens 14-Point Lead On McCain

For the first time since the general election campaign started John McCain’s poll numbers are less then 40%.  A CBS News/New York Times Survey shows a major swing among independents, which may suggest that McCain’s strategy may be hurting him.

Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain’s attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.
Tonight’s debate then is very important for McCain, with 20 days left in the campaign he needs to score a major blow tonight in order to keep his candidacy off  life support. I don’t think he can do it, he hasn’t shown that he has the ability calmly point out his difference with Obama. If he goes on the attack to strong he will be percieved as desparate and clueless.
Obama just needs to play it cool and not get caught in any gaffes and he should walk away with it.  

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Filed under Barack Obama, CBS/New York Times Survey, John McCain, Presidential Debates

>Obama Opens 14-Point Lead On McCain

>For the first time since the general election campaign started John McCain’s poll numbers are less then 40%.  A CBS News/New York Times Survey shows a major swing among independents, which may suggest that McCain’s strategy may be hurting him.

Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain’s attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.
Tonight’s debate then is very important for McCain, with 20 days left in the campaign he needs to score a major blow tonight in order to keep his candidacy off  life support. I don’t think he can do it, he hasn’t shown that he has the ability calmly point out his difference with Obama. If he goes on the attack to strong he will be percieved as desparate and clueless.
Obama just needs to play it cool and not get caught in any gaffes and he should walk away with it.  

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Filed under Barack Obama, CBS/New York Times Survey, John McCain, Presidential Debates

CNN analysts and contributors weigh in: Obama won

(CNN) — The final tally is in. During the debate, six CNN analysts and contributors scored in real time the performances by both presidential candidates.

The number next to the pluses suggests the candidate made a “good point” while the figures next to the minuses indicate “missed opportunities.” For example, in the end, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos gave the debate to Obama with 32 pluses and 4 negatives as opposed to McCain’s 28 pluses and 13 negatives.

The other five contributors and analysts included Democratic strategist Paul Begala, Sr. Political Analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen, Chief National Correspondent John King, and Senior Analyst Jeff Toobin.

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, CNN, Presidential Debates

>CNN analysts and contributors weigh in: Obama won

>(CNN) — The final tally is in. During the debate, six CNN analysts and contributors scored in real time the performances by both presidential candidates.

The number next to the pluses suggests the candidate made a “good point” while the figures next to the minuses indicate “missed opportunities.” For example, in the end, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos gave the debate to Obama with 32 pluses and 4 negatives as opposed to McCain’s 28 pluses and 13 negatives.

The other five contributors and analysts included Democratic strategist Paul Begala, Sr. Political Analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen, Chief National Correspondent John King, and Senior Analyst Jeff Toobin.

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, CNN, Presidential Debates

The Second Presidential Debate

From Polticial Wire.com

Tonight’s debate wasn’t even close. Sen. Barack Obama ran away with it — particularly when speaking about the economy and health care. Talking about his mother’s death from cancer was very powerful. On nearly every issue, Obama was more substantive, showed more compassion and was more presidential.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain was extremely erratic. Sometimes he was too aggressive (referring to Obama as “that one.”) Other times, he just couldn’t answer the question (on how he would ask Americans to sacrifice.) And his random attempts at jokes (hair transplants?) were just bad.

Tom Brokaw was terrible as moderator. His fixation with the rules — particularly when the candidates were not complaining — was distracting and a disservice to everyone. The format didn’t work very well, but Brokaw made it worse.

Other reactions:

Andrew Sullivan: “This was, I think, a mauling: a devastating and possibly electorally fatal debate for McCain… I’ve watched a lot of debates and participated in many. I love debate and was trained as a boy in the British system to be a debater. I debated dozens of times at Oxofrd. All I can say is that, simply on terms of substance, clarity, empathy, style and authority, this has not just been an Obama victory. It has been a wipe-out. It has been about as big a wipe-out as I can remember in a presidential debate. It reminds me of the 1992 Clinton-Perot-Bush debate. I don’t really see how the McCain campaign survives this.”

Ezra Klein: “Tonight was supposed to be John McCain’s night, but it was the first clear debate win Obama has scored over the course of this campaign — including the primary. McCain, as it turned out, was badly disadvantaged by the format. This debate was more physical than previous encounters. And McCain, for reasons of age and injuries and height, has a less commanding physical presence than Obama.”

Marc Ambinder: “CW says that John McCain had a 90 minute window to turn his campaign around – to put into play the McCain Resurgence Strategy, if you will, and if that’s the CW threshold, I don’t think McCain met it.”

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, political wire, Presidential Debates

>The Second Presidential Debate

>From Polticial Wire.com

Tonight’s debate wasn’t even close. Sen. Barack Obama ran away with it — particularly when speaking about the economy and health care. Talking about his mother’s death from cancer was very powerful. On nearly every issue, Obama was more substantive, showed more compassion and was more presidential.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain was extremely erratic. Sometimes he was too aggressive (referring to Obama as “that one.”) Other times, he just couldn’t answer the question (on how he would ask Americans to sacrifice.) And his random attempts at jokes (hair transplants?) were just bad.

Tom Brokaw was terrible as moderator. His fixation with the rules — particularly when the candidates were not complaining — was distracting and a disservice to everyone. The format didn’t work very well, but Brokaw made it worse.

Other reactions:

Andrew Sullivan: “This was, I think, a mauling: a devastating and possibly electorally fatal debate for McCain… I’ve watched a lot of debates and participated in many. I love debate and was trained as a boy in the British system to be a debater. I debated dozens of times at Oxofrd. All I can say is that, simply on terms of substance, clarity, empathy, style and authority, this has not just been an Obama victory. It has been a wipe-out. It has been about as big a wipe-out as I can remember in a presidential debate. It reminds me of the 1992 Clinton-Perot-Bush debate. I don’t really see how the McCain campaign survives this.”

Ezra Klein: “Tonight was supposed to be John McCain’s night, but it was the first clear debate win Obama has scored over the course of this campaign — including the primary. McCain, as it turned out, was badly disadvantaged by the format. This debate was more physical than previous encounters. And McCain, for reasons of age and injuries and height, has a less commanding physical presence than Obama.”

Marc Ambinder: “CW says that John McCain had a 90 minute window to turn his campaign around – to put into play the McCain Resurgence Strategy, if you will, and if that’s the CW threshold, I don’t think McCain met it.”

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Filed under 2008 Presidential Campaign, political wire, Presidential Debates

Limits on "Town Hall" Debate tonight

Lynn Sweet

“Tuesday’s match-up at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will be moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw, with the questions to be culled from a group of 100 to 150 uncommitted likely voters in the audience and another one-third to come via the Internet. The Gallup Organization — as in past debates like this — has the job of making sure the questioners reflect the demographic makeup of the nation.

Brokaw selects the questions to ask from written queries submitted prior to the debate, according to the “contract.”

An audience member will not be allowed to switch questions. Under the deal, the moderator may not ask followups or make comments. The person who asks the question will not be allowed a follow-up either, and his or her microphone will be turned off after the question is read. A camera shot will only be shown of the person asking — not reacting.

While there will be director’s chairs (with backs and foot rests), McCain and Obama will be allowed to stand — but they can’t roam past their “designated area” to be marked on the stage. McCain and Obama are not supposed to ask each other direct questions.

As in all the debates, the contenders cannot bring in notes, though they can take them once at the lectern….”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Joe McCain, limits on debate. Lynn Sweet, Presidential Debates, Tom Brokaw, Town Hall